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Monday, 7 January 2013

Bird





Three piece Liverpool band Bird is the creation of Adele Emmas (singer, songwriter) Sian Williams (guitar, harmonies) and Alexis Samata (drums) Together they create dark, haunting, atmospheric music which will entice you in to their magical, other worldly universe. With beautiful, siren-esque vocals, tribal, hypnotic drum beats and spellbinding guitar work, Bird are refreshingly unlike anything that's currently on the music scene.

After meeting each other through a friend of a friend, Adele and Sian bonded over their mutual love for artists such as Leonard Cohen, Kate Bush, The Cocteau Twins, Warpaint, and Fleetwood Mac. The girls decided to swap numbers and soon after songwriter Adele and drummer Alexis invited Sian along for a 'jam' where they realized together they had something very special to give. After signing to Jack To Phono Records, playing a UK tour and sold out EP launch back in 2011, the band have since built up a large, loyal fan base in their home town of Liverpool and other areas of the UK alongside releasing their much anticipated EP 'Shadows' back in August 2012.

They are nothing short of extraordinarily, ethereal,  atmospheric, haunting, and delightfully far from the norm so hopefully I'll see them share a bill with Pumajaw and Plum sometime soon for what would be gig of the year!  Such is the quality of material it's hard to favour any particular track however first up I've included the spectacular 'Shadows'.

Radio 1's Rob Da Bank, BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music's Maconie and Radcliffe, BBC 6 Music's Tom Robinson and Ralph's favourite, Dave Monks at BBC Radio Merseyside have all recently featured Bird on air. They've also had music featured on Channel 4 and had various magazine articles published in NYLON magazine, Bido Lito and many more. Specially selected by the BBC, last year Bird attended a workshop at Abbey Road and Maida Vale London. Former Cocteau Twin and label owner Simon Raymonde chose Bird as one of his favourite bands of the year!


They're as assured live as they are in the studio and hold an audience in their spell.....





In recent weeks they've been featuring in many best of lists for 2013 and were featured as The Guardian’s ‘New Band Up North’ in December 2012. 

“Liverpool trio Bird are creating music that’s hauntingly beautiful and forcefully captivating. Their poetic lyrics take your mind on a journey making you feel like you’re walking around in a gothic novel … Knowing they were onto a winning sound after one session must have been an amazing feeling. But after you’ve listened to them for the first time it’s easy to understand how they must have felt as you get a similar reaction. Their music moves you.” 








Blogger Andy Von Pip chose them as one of his Tips For 2013 -  “The music converges around Adele’s exquisite empyrean vocals, and it is they that beckon the listener on through the twilight gate and into a world of off-kilter fairytales where a star fretted sky twinkles to illuminate twisted branches that inhabit the dark enchanted forest of Adele’s imagination.”

Ralph's chum Tom Robinson included them on his BBC Introducing Mixtape not once but twice in 2012. He also said meeting Adele at a BBC Introducing Masterclass held at Abbey Road was one of his highlights of the day. 



They have also announced their first UK tour....
February
15th Liverpool -The Leaf
16th Sowerby Bridge - Puzzle Hall
18th Edinburgh Electric Circus
19th Inverness Hootananny
20th Glasgow King Tuts
22nd York The Duchess
26th Manchester Castle
27th Leicester The Scholar Bar @Leicester University -

March

2nd Milton Keynes Zone
3rd London Upstairs @ The Garage
4th Brighton The Hope
5th Bournemouth The Winchester
7th Bristol Start the bus
10th Birmingham The Yardbird Jazz Club
11th London Brixton Windmill


You can buy tickets for any of these gigs here




If you need a reason to go and see Bird on the second half of the tour here's a review of their Edinburgh gig in The Electric Circus by guest reviewer Malcolm Parry to convince you they just shouldn't be missed.....


Two supports for Bird tonight, first up: Elbi. http://soundcloud.com/elbimusic  An Edinburgh based, french, electro hip/hop soul singer. Not dissimilar in vocal style to Amy Winehouse, with inspirational echoes of Lauren Hill & Ella Fitzgerald. All backed up with looping vocals and electronica. Soulful yes!  But not a full soul singer, as we moved along song to song, Elbi started to introduce hip/hop style rap-in french!!  A real edge!,  which will hopefully bring her to a wider audience. Tres bon.

Next up; In the lovely wee shape of  18 yr old folk singer,  from the fishing town's of Fife.....we get : Lidh  https://www.facebook.com/lidhmusic. Just fresh from recording her debut album & supporting fellow folky's: Withered Hand & King Creosote. And my goodness, it shows.  A real giggley cuteness to this young lady,  politely bantering & story telling in her sweet Fife accent. You could almost imagine you were sat in a quaint fishing pub, ale in hand, open fire a blazing, while she kept it alight with acoustic fingerstyle songs, moving between the guitar & mandolin. Then introducing a cover; The Smiths- Bigmouth Strikes Again.  By the end you could smell the salty air & hear the seagulls. With talent at such a young age, we can only look forward to her debut album. A real delight.


Main act; Bird. https://www.facebook.com/birdmusicofficial  I awoke the morning of the gig to the sound of bird's singing in the start of a new day,  from the trees nearby.

 I have seen alot of hype & excitement surrounding these ladies; Lead Singer/basist: Adele, and lead guitarist/vocalist: Sian. The stage setup, looking,  how I would imagine a Grimms fairy tale living room,  with old lamps, empty bird cages , fairy lights with backdrop visuals of the two witches themselves, ( the cover of the excellent new EP Ophelia ).


Tonight they chose to be black witches, with a ghoulish looking drummer, who throughout the entire set, remained hunched & head-bowed  almost prisoner like, Maybe caught in a curse?  All adding to the eerie presence. As we move through 45 mins of live music, all under the enchanting spell of bird, we experience mysterious choir like vocals ( sometimes I hear Bat 4 Lashes, Smoke Fairies ), tribal drums,  ethereal guitar  ( like early Cure - pornography  & the xx ), cinematic build up's into crashing guitar crescendo's. Moving effortlessly through material new & old, finishing with a cover of : Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead with Adele's bass,  thrashing away like the long lost daughter of Geezer Butler.  A cover version they made their own.

If only the birds in the morning sounded this sweet?






Never let it be said Ralph isn't an equal opportunities blogger so here's what a couple of my contemporaries have to say.....




Louder Than War placed Bird at number 2 on their Top 50 New Bands for 2013. “When they start playing….. oh my, what a truly exquisite sound they come out with! A disarming, often foreboding, yet undeniably beautiful compound of folk, new age, Gregorian church music and the best bits of the late ’70s / early ’80s goth movement. Theirs is the sound of childhood stories of wandering through dark forests, of discovering hidden caves laced with cobwebs, of hearing wolves howling in the dead of night, all those stories you were told as a small child before you went to sleep at night … This really is music to get completely lost in, proven by the virtual silence from the audience by the time of the second song. Bird stir up an astonishing gamut of emotions, feelings and gut instincts, a quietly revolutionary act whose subtle insurrection is surely only a few months away from coming into action. Believe.”

Gods in The TV wrote “Bird utterly get the medal for grafting right now. It’s therefore just as well that the music, the haunting close harmonies, feeling as pre-Raphaelite as anything in the art gallery down the road, gets more and more compulsive with every listen.” Whilst the blog Just Music I like had this to say; “Bird were guaranteed their place amongst my bands to watch after two recent live performances blew me away … Those live sets saw the trio bring to life their recent Shadows EP with a live power and grace, equally dark and mystical with rich swirling guitar tapestries and superlative defying harmonies, it was like being transported to an otherworldly place of pure, spiritual beauty.” 



The new EP Ophelia is planned for February 11th and has been produced by Bill Ryder Jones from The Coral.